Grilled Caesar Salad with Chicken is a variation of that beloved classic salad invented out of necessity so many years ago.
Do you know the history behind Caesar salad? According to Wikipedia, on July 4, 1924, Caesar Cardini created this salad when his restaurant in Tijuana, Mexico ran out of ingredients for items on the menu. Thank you, Sig Cardini!
Traditionally a Caesar salad is made with a raw or coddled egg. When I started making this decades ago, I coddled the egg to get rid of any possible bacteria. As I did some research for this blog post, I discovered that may not be the best approach. According to the Center for Disease Control, “Live poultry can carry bacteria such as Salmonella, which can contaminate the inside of eggs before the shells are formed.” They recommend foods that contain raw or lightly cooked eggs, such as Caesar salad dressing, be made only with pasteurized eggs.
Okay. Where do you find pasteurized eggs? I bought a carton of Vital Farms pasteurized liquid whole eggs. A Google search told me some stores sell pasteurized whole eggs in the shell, but I looked in five grocery stores with no luck.
If you can’t find pasteurized eggs, you can take your chances with coddling. The CDC says only 1 in 20,000 eggs contain salmonella. I coddled eggs for decades and never once got sick. Good thing I stopped on egg number 19,999. Click here for directions on coddling an egg.
Grilled Caesar Salad with Chicken
Active time: 20 minutes Total time: 20 minutes
Specialized One-Butt Kitchen Utensils
- This Nexgrill Portable Propane Gas Grill is perfect for grilling 2 romaine halves at a time. It small enough to take in an RV, and built so that the flames won’t blow out if it’s a little windy outside. (The link is to Home Depot since it was cheaper than Amazon. I do not have an affiliate relationship with Home Depot.)
- A Mortar and Pestle is handy for mashing the anchovies. I also use this to grind spices, which releases more of their flavors. This small one is the perfect size for an RV.
- Use one of these Silicone Basting Brushes to brush olive oil on the romaine before grilling. The silicone brushes are easier to clean than the old fashioned bristle brushes, and you don’t have to worry about a stray bristle ending up in your food.
- ¼ tsp dry mustard (or ½ tsp dijon)
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- ½ cup olive oil, plus more to brush on romaine before grilling
- ¼ cup pasteurized egg or 1 coddled egg
- 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 5 anchovies, mashed, or 1 tbsp anchovy paste
- 1 tbsp white or rice vinegar
- ½ tsp Worcestershire
- dash Tabasco sauce
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated, plus more for topping
- Romano cheese, grated, for topping
- 1 head romaine lettuce
- 1 cup rotisserie chicken (or 2 grilled chicken breasts)
Mix together all dressing ingredients except cheeses. If whole anchovies are used, mash well. It’s easiest with a mortal and pestle. If you prefer to use anchovy paste, that works fine too. After the dressing is mixed well, add the Parmesan cheese.
Turn the gas grill on high heat for 10 minutes.
Slice the romaine heads in half lengthwise. Use a silicon basting brush to apply a light coat of olive oil on the romaine. Place the romaine on the hot grill for 2 minutes on each side.
To serve, place the romaine on a plate, top with chicken, and drizzle dressing over it. Sprinkle with Parmesan and Romano cheese, if desired.
If you are cooking for two, you may have some dressing left over. The dressing will keep in the refrigerator for several days.
Excellent recipe, Mary. And I LOVE the mini-history lesson, too. Thanks!